It's Raining Books Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer

The Persian Letters (Penguin Classics)

by

The Persian Letters (Penguin Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780140442816
ISBN10: 0140442812
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $5.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the form of letters between two Persian travelers in eighteenth-century Europe, this novel was written to show that France was moving from benevolent monarchy to royal tyranny.

Synopsis:

this title is the story of two Persian noblemen who have left their country - the modern Iran - to journey to Europe in search of wisdom. Their colourful observations on the culture differences between West and East culture conjure up Eastern sensuality, repression and cruelty in contrast to the freer, more civilized West.

Synopsis:

Richly evocative novel. Translated by C.J. Betts.

About the Author

Charles-Louis de Secondat was born in 1689 at La Brède, near Bordeaux, into an eminent family of parlementaires. His mother died when he was ten and Charles-Louis was sent to Paris to be educated and completed a law degree in Bordeaux in 1708. He returned to Paris in order to finish his education, staying until his father died in 1713. In 1714 he became a councilor at the Bordeaux Parlement and a year later married a Huguenot lady, Jeanne de Lartigue, probably for her money. They had three children. A year after their marriage Charles-Louis inherited the barony of Montesquieu and the post of président à mortier at the Bordeaux Parlement and five years later, in 1721, he published anonymously in Holland the Persian Letters, which ran into ten editions in one year. From 1721 to 1725 he lived in Paris frequenting fashionable society and conducting several love-affairs. He sold his post of président in 1726 because of financial difficulties, was elected to the French academy in 1727 and spent the next three years traveling in Europe (he stayed about eighteen months in England and became a freemason). He returned to France working mainly in Paris but occasionally traveling to the southwest to look after his estates and wine business. During this period his persistent eye troubles got worse and he gave up freemasonry because of the Church’s disapproval. In 1748 he published his most important work, The Spirit of Laws, which made an immediate impression and caused a lot of controversy. Montesquieu died in Paris of a fever in 1755. In 1751 The Spirit of Laws was placed on the Vatican Index and likewise the Persian Letters in 1761.

Christopher Betts was born in 1936 and is at present a lecturer in the School of French Studies at the University of Warwick.

Christopher Betts was born in 1936 and is at present a lecturer in the School of French Studies at the University of Warwick.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

T Time, August 21, 2011 (view all comments by T Time)
Published nearly three hundred years ago, in 1721, Persian Letters by Montesquieu (Charles-louis De Secondat Montesquieu) is an epistolary novel made up of the fictional correspondence between two eighteenth-century Persians and their countrymen as they travel through the occidental world for the first time, eventually settling in Paris for a decade during the last years of Louis XIV’s reign. The book illustrates what we would now call culture shock for the two main characters as they try to make sense of their new surroundings and the people they encounter in their day-to-day lives during the first few years of the Age of Enlightenment.

There are more than a few witticisms and biting criticisms of the times as Montesquieu uses the fictional characters to voice his own social critiques. Much of what this Frenchman wrote would have been shocking, even scandalous to his social peers.

Montesquieu muses on many topics, ranging through government, virtue, law, morality, taxation, meteorology and religion, particularly the Catholic Church. Many are quotable, this one on religion is a favourite.

“I believe in the immortality of the soul periodically. My opinions depend entirely on my physical condition. According to whether I have greater or less vitality, or my digestion is functioning well or badly…I know how to prevent religion from disturbing me when I am well, but I allow it to console me when I am ill.”...

Although the character development of the Persians is slight and the plot thin until the last few letters when events seem to pick up and then rush towards the finale, it is more fair to judge the book on its playful musings and witticisms than to view it as a standard, plotted novel. In all, an interesting and amusing read, and an entertaining look at early eighteenth-century France.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780140442816
Translator:
Betts, C. J.
Author:
Betts, C. J.
Author:
Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat
Author:
Montesquieu
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
Harmondsworth, Eng.
Subject:
Geography
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Travel and travel guides
Subject:
Translations into english
Subject:
Iran
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series:
Penguin Classics
Series Volume:
map I-1618[L281]
Publication Date:
19730431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
7.81x5.05x.85 in. .57 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. Rameau's Nephew and D'Alembert's... Used Trade Paper $4.50
  2. Leviathan (Penguin Classics) Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. First & Second Discourses Used Trade Paper $4.95
  4. Montaigne: Essays: A Selection... Used Trade Paper $9.00
  5. Discipline & Punish: The Birth of...
    Used Trade Paper $9.00
  6. The Social Contract (Penguin Classics) Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Persian Letters (Penguin Classics) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140442816 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , this title is the story of two Persian noblemen who have left their country - the modern Iran - to journey to Europe in search of wisdom. Their colourful observations on the culture differences between West and East culture conjure up Eastern sensuality, repression and cruelty in contrast to the freer, more civilized West.
"Synopsis" by , Richly evocative novel. Translated by C.J. Betts.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.